Soccer star fined for holding betting company shares
- Striker’s club, AC Milan, also fined for playing him
- No pitch ban but ordered to end association with Swedish betting firm
- Allegations first surfaced in Aftonbladet newspaper.
Superstar soccer striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been fined €50,000 by governing body UEFA because he has a stake in a betting company.
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet first revealed last month that Ibrahimovic had a 10% stake in the company, which is based in Malta, making him the fourth-biggest shareholder in the business.
It was not really a shock since the company had already reported that the striker was on board as a co-owner.
The company took gaming revenues of $31 million in 2020 and was acquired by eSports Entertainment earlier this week for €16 million in cash, expected to close on July 1.
UEFA betting regulations
UEFA is strict about players and officials having links to sports betting companies for obvious reasons – fears over match-fixing.
Although there is no suggestion of any improper behaviour from Ibrahimovic, now 39 years old, or his club, both did break Article 12(2)(b) of the disciplinary regulations.
While the €50,000 fine is relatively small change for the striker, who is reported to earn $260,000 a week, he had been threatened with a ban, which could well have signaled the end of his illustrious career.
The player was ordered to cease his interest in the company, but the business sale to eSports Entertainment may have sorted that out anyway.